Checking systems

Checking system – EPIS 5x

Mainly for regional bus public transportation

We offer two basic versions of passenger checking systems for public transportation:

  • For municipal public transportation, where passengers do the checking themselves using contactless cards including bank cards,
  • For regional public transportation, where the checking is done by the driver.

The Concept of municipal checking

For checking in cities where passengers do the checking themselves using contactless chip cards we offer an on-board system based on components produced by our company:

  • on-board computers EPIS, they also save a database of executed transactions and run the checking applications and a firewall for GSM communication,
  • validators EVK 50  for checking with contactless chip cards including bank karts (validators are subordinate to on-board computers),
  • Ethernet switches with the possibility of supplying power to the validators directly via an UTP cable and the possibility of controlling the power supply from the on-board computer  ECU 08PO,
  • GSM modem EPG 4.0 (UMTS or LTE communication).

The concept of check in on public transport

The EPIS 5FC on-board computers with the checking ability (checking system – commonly called „the machine“) are designed for regional public transportation and include a ticket printer with extended lifespan, a contactless card reader, a backup power supply accumulator, a multiple digital annunciator unit, a GPS unit, GPRS or UMTS (3G) data communication, integrated WiFi, isolated payment black boxes and other components including our new SW„back office„. They are produced in a divided version EPIS 5 FCS – a control unit and an LCD terminal or in a compact version EPIS 5 FCC – now the preferred version.

Pic. no. 1:Installation of a checking system in a municipal public transportation vehicle based on an EPIS computer.

Presently we have two kinds of EPIS 5FC on-board computers ready for production:
EPIS 5 FCC – the compact version on-board computer with checking functions. This version is the preferred one now and it is going to be introduced to the market in December 2013. This version is an outcome of a long debate with IDS officials. It is based on ARM processors and other modern  technologies introduced to the market during the last few years which is the cause of our 4-month development delay.
EPIS 5 FCS – the divided version on-board computer with checking functions. The development of this type has been suspended. It is based on PC computers. If requested it is possible to start serial production in a short time.

Information and checking system layout in public transportation vehicles

A simplified description of the individual components of the vehicle system, the description was designed by our company (the components are marked by numbers in the following picture), (our company is able to supply most of them):

Pic. no.1: The control, information, communication and checking system

Pic. no.1: The control, information, communication and checking system

  1. On-board computers with checking functions – they will include an application managing the following functions:
    • communicating information to the passengers (optically and by voice)
    • passenger checking – allows printing a ticket as well as checking using a chip card
    • information for the driver regarding the position of the vehicle in relation to the schedule
    • sending information regarding the position of the vehicle including the number of passengers in the vehicle to the dispatching
    • when in a depot the on-board computer controls updating of all databases and files of the vehicle
    • allows voice as well as data communication with a dispatcher
    • controls announcements for people with impaired vision
    • allows connecting the camera and sensory systems of the vehicle
  2. The driver touch LCD terminal – its screen size (we recommend 8“ to 10,4″) ensures displaying all necessary information regarding the route and passenger checking (displaying the ticket price list). This information changes in accordance with present actions of the driver as well as the vehicle (information, communication and checking activities).
  3. The checking unit - an integrated printer and a contactless card reader – it can be designed as a peripheral unit combined with a ticket printer and allowing reading information from contactless cards or it can be integrated in the LCD terminal (“the machine”) situated on the vehicle dashboard. The checking system is also equipped with another high-illumination color LCD display for the passengers and with an independent digital annunciator unit.
  4. Communication of the vehicle with the dispatching – this communication via GSM/GPRS/3G networks ensures all three types of service:
    • checking, sends information regarding the number of passengers, tickets, blacklist, daily turnover, etc. to the dispatching.
    • information, the dispatcher can send information directly to the driver or to the passengers, they can also set how often the information is repeated.
    • control and communication, including the possibility of sending data regarding the position of the vehicle and of data and voice communication of the dispatching of the local transportation company or IDS with the vehicle.
  5. Communication of the vehicle with the depot – it also ensures the three types of service with the difference that it uses mainly mass transfers from and to the vehicle in the depot (it duplicates the point 4 above). Since it uses the WiFi band (free of charge) to perform the transfers it lowers the SIM card payment requirements. This type of communication is suitable mainly when tachogrphas or passenger advertisement LCD terminals showing targeted advertisements are used.
  6. The Inside sound system of the vehicle allows announcing information regarding stops, connections, tariff changes, zones or other general regional information.
  7. The outside sound system at the first (entrance) set of doors allows announcing important information to the passengers getting on the bus and it can also be used to assist people with impaired vision.
  8. The front direction indicators (LED panels, tableaus)  display information regarding the number of the line, the terminus, the target stop and if needed the following stops (displaying information regarding the following stops is meaningful only when the vehicle stands at a stop and not when it is on the move). Our company has developed LED panels using dynamic fonts for the purposes of this way of informing the passengers. The dynamic font technology ensures dynamic adjustment of texts according to a chosen window and a defined set of rules.
  9. The side direction indicators (LED panels, tableaus) announce information regarding the number of the line, the terminus and the following stops. They can also announce checking information (service drive – do not get on the vehicle).
  10. The rear number indicator (LED panel, tableau) announces information regarding the number of the line (maximum of 3 digits). It can also display simple double-line texts such as  “out of order”.
  11. The inner display (LED panel) can use LED diodes (now a standard solution) or it can use  inner LCD panels. It displays information regarding lines, routes or stops. It can also display information regarding the tariff zone or time to allow assessing validity of time tickets. It can also display important regional information or information regarding transportation changes, connections, etc.. We recommend the minimal size of two lines of text.
  12. The vehicle busbar  integrates all vehicle data transfers i.e. checking as well as information and control data transfers. Vehicles already equipped with a busbar use the IBIS or newly also the RS 485 busbar as a standard. In the case of new vehicles we recommend the ETHERNET busbar because of the possibility of fast communication with the on-board computer with checking functions. The on-board computer can then allow for example connecting a camera for backing up to the system.
  13. The command receiving system for people with impaired vision allows announcing information regarding the direction and the following stops to people with impaired vision and also informing the driver about a person with impaired vision getting on or off the vehicle. Newly we have prepared a version of this receiver using the Ethernet busbar.
  14. Vehicle camera with turning ability can have two functions:
    • easy surveillance of the passengers inside the vehicle with the possibility of recording passengers in the door area and of recording the situation when the vehicle is being damaged.
    • In the case of the driver pushing the „emergency“ button the camera starts recording the driver cabin door and it can also send the shots to the CED.
    • It can be used by a dispatcher to look remotely into the vehicle.
  15. Camera for backing up – it activates only when the vehicle is backing up and the video is displayed on the driver terminal display.
  16. Inside temperature measurement device – vehicles will be equipped with two temperature measurement devices for the purposes of observing the IDS temperature standard. The temperature measurements will be averaged by the on-board computer and sent to the dispatching. The dispatching will be able to set the minimal (maximal) tolerated temperature in the vehicle.

General properties of the EPIS 5 checking systems

The on-board computers with the checking ability (a printer and a card reader) of the EPIS 5FCx series (a compact or a divided version) are based on industrial PC or ARM processors, which meet:

  • the vehicle operation temperature requirements (-20°C to +70°C) – if the temperature is deeper below zero, the vehicle has to be kept in RESET to allow heating of the inside of the vehicle using “waste” heat,
  • the high performance requirements – made possible by the INTEL ATOM E 640 or the ARM processors working on a frequency of 1 GHz (at least 10x higher performance than other on-board computers commonly used in the Czech Republic – for example PXA) – when the ARM processors are used, they can also be multi-core,
  • the low energy consumption requirement, consequently, there is no need for cooling using a ventilator,
  • the high memory capacity requirement – a micro SD FLASH 8 Gbyte or a 8/32 GB SSD disc and at least 1 GByte RAM DDR (DDR2 or DDR3),
  • the universal application for systems with the possibility of payment to the driver requirement
  • the requirement of direct radio communication with dispatching or accounting centers.